Dean Smith’s side are unbeaten against Everton and this statistic may hint that the prospect of facing them this weekend is a welcome sight. Especially given that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will likely miss the game through injury.
Aston Villa vs Everton is the most played fixture in English football and the first time these two sides met since Villa’s promotion in 2019 was one of the more memorable games. After two losses in their opening two games against Tottenham and Bournemouth, the tension at Villa Park was immense as fans pleaded for the first win of the season.
Villa won this game 2-0 as Wesley announced his name in the top tier of English football and Anwar El Ghazi grabbed his first of the season also. With 41.5% possession and an expected goals (xG) value of 1.1 xG compared to Everton’s 1.4 xG, Villa were possibly lucky to win this game. They needed this luck, however.
They rode their luck at times as they battled to find their feet in the Premier League. Everton’s Alex Iwobi was prevented a goal as his effort struck the post, as well as Bjorn Engels clearing an effort off the line to maintain Villa’s lead.
Villa failed to set the world alight in this season, but this game will live long in the memory of Villa fans. The electric atmosphere under the lights at home against Everton will hopefully be replicated on Saturday.
Fast forward several months and fans were faced with another tense occasion as Villa battled for survival in the post-lockdown games. Ezri Konsa opened the scoring as he guided in a Conor Hourihane cross to put Villa 1-0 up.
Villa once again rode their luck at times in this game as Lucas Digne hit the woodwork from a cross and Dominic Calvert-Lewin fired just wide. Eventually however they did concede to the lively Everton attack as Theo Walcott’s looping header was unable to be kept out by Konsa.
This was a winnable game for Villa as Anwar El Ghazi failed to convert a seemingly easy chance just inches in front of goal. A miss that could’ve, but thankfully didn’t cost the club in the long run.
The 2020/21 games with Everton were slightly more disrupted. The COVID-19 outbreak at the club led to several games being postponed and the Everton game was one of them. This led to the clubs facing each other twice in just a two-week gap in early May.
El Ghazi made sure he made up for his previous mistakes as he fired Villa into a 2-1 win in the first encounter, this was after Ollie Watkins had robbed Mason Holgate of possession and slotted in the first of the evening. Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s aerial threat was on full display here as he nodded in an equaliser, Dean Smith will be thankful he is likely to be missing on Saturday.
The most recent meeting of these two sides was far from a classic. A game between 10 th and 11 th place in the Premier League towards the end of the season unfolded exactly as one may think, a 0-0 draw. The best chances of the game fell to Tyrone Mings who put his effort just wide and Calvert-Lewin again who forced Emiliano Martinez into making a good save.
Villa will be keen to maintain their unbeaten record against Everton and any points they could come across would be gladly accepted given the opponents they face in coming weeks.
With his goal in the first game, horrendous miss in the second and curling effort to win it last season, Everton fans will be hoping Anwar El Ghazi is left on the bench given how lively he usually is against them. Then again, the alternatives are Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore so it might not get any easier for them.
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